Mary Irvine’s blog: How authors relax or do they?

green exercise

I was recently asked to write a short piece on ‘How Writers Relax. I contacted the usual suspects and came up with the following.

Have to admit the replies to the above brought no surprises. Mostly physical activities, presumably to counteract the effects of sitting when writing. So in no particular order these were the activities offered: reading (more sitting so must be the brain relaxing), cooking (thinking about writing a cook-book), gardening (a ‘how to’ book?), going to the gym (How I lost 2/3/4 stone), jogging (boring and positively injurious to the spine if done on concrete), listening to music ( hope you also listen to the lyrics!), visiting National Trust sites/ Historic monuments (combination physical and brain), painting ( another form of creativity but you are, usually, standing up for this), go for a walk, sometimes with a dog (hope you remember the poo bags). No mention of meditation although yoga, Pilates and tai chi were recorded. I added sword form. Not very good but I do forget about writing as I try not to inflict injury on fellow practitioners). I also write to relax – stops me worrying about the state of the world, apart from when I’m writing about it. A writer is never not a writer – ideas and inspiration are all around us. Ideas come at night, Notebooks next to the bed are essential so that great ideas, even rubbish ones, are not lost. We take full advantage of everything and everyone about us. We are observers! We carry notebooks to jot down anything spotted whilst out and about. It might come in useful. I get some of my better ideas during a shower and ‘Yes’ I do immediately get out to jot them down.

tai hi

So, ‘What physical activity helps the creative process?’ I would answer ‘living’ and remember ‘Living isn’t just breathing’, it’s making the most of every day and, if there’s time, write about it. Real writers will always find time for writing, even if sometimes they neglect the physical. Advice? Maintain a balance but do what works for you.

up the stairs

The photos are from my visit to China. In the park some Chinese joined in. Others watched and applauded our performance. Very polite the Chinese. One is obviously of me on The Great Wall. I did walk for nearly an hour, quite forgetting I had to walk back…

Public Lecture of the Publishing Scotland’s International Fellows Glasgow - review by Mary Irvine
Mary Irvine blogging about A Goodbye Lunch

This section: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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